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California Sushi Shop Serves Whale Rolls… Deliciously Illegal

Posted on Tuesday, March 16th, 2010 at 11:10 am by
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Santa Monica’s ubber-chic sushi restaurant The Hump will be facing some serious legal issues after two members of “The Cove” film team discovered Whale on the menu. “The Cove” a film about the annual slaughtering of dolphins in Japanese fishing village recently won an Academy Award for best documentary.

The investigation started when the two women were openly offered whale as an option and discretely snuck the pieces of meat out of the restaurant. They shipped the meat to a researcher at Oregon State University. He identified the sample’s DNA to be that of a sei whale. The sei whale has become the new target for whalers after the populations of right, humpback, fin, and blue whales have declined due to overfishing. The sei whale is now considered an endangered species.

The Hump’s parent company Typhoon Restaurant Inc. and head chef Kiyosho Yamamoto have admitted to serving whale meat. Their menu offers “a culinary adventure … unlike any that you have previously experienced.”, and they clearly delivered it. The receipts even list “whale” or “Kujira” on them at a price of $85. The restaurant has since pledged to set up procedures to ensure that it complies with laws and “becomes a good corporate citizen.”

The Restaurant posted the following message on their website.

“The charge against the restaurant is true: The Hump served whale meat to customers looking to eat what in Japan is widely served as a delicacy,” the statement continued. “In serving this meat, The Hump ignored its responsibilities to help save endangered whales from extinction and failed to support the world community in its uphill fight to protect all endangered species.”

The restaurant may face charges of up to $200,000 and a federal prison sentence of up to one year. U.S. Attorney Andre Birotte Jr. stated “Someone should not be able to walk into a restaurant and order a plate of an endangered species,” and with the help of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration should not be able to go against the International Whaling Commission’s 1980 moratorium on commercial whale hunting.

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2 Responses to “California Sushi Shop Serves Whale Rolls… Deliciously Illegal”

  1. Jeni Tyrell says:


  2. Mike says:

    Everyone here will be happy to know that The Hump has announced that they’re going to close up shop.

    Read and smile.

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